Project: The Portal


Client: Dudley Canal Trust (Trips) Limited

Pleydell Smithyman Limited were commissioned by Dudley Canal Trust (Trips) Limited to develop a new visitor facility for their operation. Our brief involved extensive technical, financial and community understanding which helped realise the recently opened Learning & Access Hub - The Portal.

The Hub forms an education and interpretation venue for the local community and visitors and will provide a sustainable and lasting legacy to ensure the long term viability of Dudley Canal.

Pleydell Smithyman Limited were instrumental in developing the project from concept to build through partnership working with the community and stakeholders. This process included:

  • Developing the design of the hub from concept to build.
  • Obtaining planning permission for the project.
  • Leading the tendering process for the construction and catering contracts.
  • Community and stakeholder engagement and consultation.
  • Developing and implementing a funding strategy for the project.

The Portal will also enable the Dudley Canal Trust (Trips) Limited to secure the future of the Limestone Mines and Caverns, by increasing the revenue potential of the site with new catering and retail facilities.

Opened by Princess Anne in March 2016, the Portal project illustrates our ability to take a project from inception to delivery. Our Funding Strategy and support has helped the Dudley Canal Trust (Trips) Limited secure £2.5 million in funding from a range of sources including the Heritage Lottery Fund, European Regional Development Fund, Biffa Award and Wolfson Foundation.